A review of the latest Ken Loach film “Sorry We Missed You”

Nobody produces screen work like British television and film director Ken Loach. Now in his 80s, ever since the 1960s – with “Cathy Come Home” and “Poor Cow” – through to “I, Daniel Blake”, he has created a series of trenchant pieces of social commentary that dissect the causes of the darkness faced by so much of the working class.

This time, he critiques the insecurities and unfairness of the gig economy through the story of Ricky (Kris Hitchen), who has just started working for a parcel delivery company, and his wife Abbie (Debbie Honeywood), who is a social worker, struggling to pay the bills and bring up two children in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Ricky’s fictional company is called PDF, but it is a thinly disguised metaphor for the real-life DPD, which, in February 2018, faced widespread criticism due to the treatment of Don Lane, one of its couriers who was fined by the company for attending a medical appointment to treat his diabetes and ultimately collapsed and died of the condition.

Like some earlier works from Loach – including the hard-hitting “I, Daniel Blake” – “Sorry We Missed You” was written by Paul Laverty and stars an unknown cast which, plus research with courier drivers who did not wanted to be named, gives the film powerful verisimilitude. 

This is not an easy film to watch, presenting a grim tale in uncompromising fashion with an inconclusive ending, but it has an important political message and, at its heart, represents the resilience of a loving family.


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